There are five species of elm trees in the United States, scattered throughout the eastern and central states. The trees are usually large and of rapid growth, and do not form forests. The timber is hard and tough, frequently cross-grained, hard to work, and shrinks and checks in drying. The wood has not been used very extensively in building, but has a beautiful figured grain, can take a high polish, and is well adapted to staining. The texture is coarse to fine, and the color is brown with shades of gray and red.